The Malaysian and I split the cab fare— $15 each, or so, which felt a little steep in Nepal. But seeing as the cabbie had just driven us for an hour and a half into the mountains, we weren’t really in any position to argue.
And considering one can drop $15 at Starbucks if they’re not careful, it seemed silly to be upset.
As I stepped out of the taxi, I couldn’t help but realize: here I am.
I was in the Himalayas.
This was the place I had thrown everything away for. It had been a struggle, from Hong Kong to Kathmandu to Pokhara. There had been a fair few stumbling blocks along the way, and it certainly felt like I had made sure to catch each and every one of them on my way here. I had bags under my eyes, a pain in my side, a rumbling in my stomach, a crick in my neck and a hurt in my heart.
It was time to see if it was worth it.
My first thought upon shouldering my 20-pound pack was: this isn’t worth it.
As a lifelong hiker though, I knew this initial resentment would pass. The hardest parts of any journey are always the beginning and the end. In the beginning, we are getting used to the new movements, the weight on our backs—by the time we reach the end, we’ve had our fun, but we’re sick and sore and ready to return to how things were.
As I took those first steps towards Annapurna, I was both at the beginning and end of two separate journeys. It didn’t feel good. Still, I kept putting one foot in front of another, knowing that one who does not search will never find what he is looking for.
Here, we find ourselves at the end of PART 3 of our story. Again, you can imagine a few blank pages here. Were this a book, you’d put it down and come back tomorrow. Up next— Part 4: ANNAPURNA.
If you need to do any catching up—and I know a lot of you do—check out the Table of Contents.